Review: Woodford Reserve Oat Grain Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Woodford Reserve.

Image courtesy of Woodford Reserve.

Virgin Charred Oak
N/A (corn, oat, rye)
Distiller Woodford Reserve (Versailles, Kentucky)

This year’s Master’s Collection - Woodford Reserve’s annual special release - came in two forms. First was a bourbon matured in wood exclusively from the Ozarks, and the second is this - a Bourbon where the secondary grain to corn is oat, rather than the typical rye (or wheat). I’ve had some oat whiskies before, but never in a bourbon - this should prove interesting.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose is rich in caramel, toasted almond, and toasted oak, but also walnut, grits, white pepper, old oak, apple, jalapeno bagels, sweet white oak, vanilla, and dried orange peel.

The palate has apple juice, purple mulberries, rye porridge, and dried fruit. The mulberry character is very interesting. Oak balances the whole thing, and there is a light dried floral characteristic (i.e. potpourri) and some dried orange peel. A bit oily and raw in places.

The finish is bready, with rich caramel, oak, rice pudding, and hibiscus. Very easy to drink, and quite enjoyable. I’d love to see more oat bourbon.

I tried this alongside Woodford’s new straight wheat and malt whiskies. I quite like both of those compared to this.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $130 USD.